The Energy Systems Catapult (ESC) is supporting British industry to unleash innovation and exploit the opportunities of the global energy revolution.
The drivers for change are compelling – from the acceleration of electrification of transport to the emergence of ‘smart’ and the impact of challenging legally binding emissions targets. These will drive the energy transition forward, create new domestic markets and provide export opportunities for new products and services. We estimate that £10 billion in capital value, £6 billion of annual sales and over 9,000 jobs could be generated directly from the growth of existing and new companies providing innovative services and products to the new markets enabled by the Catapult by 2030.
The 2016 Annual Review describes the first full year’s operations of the Catapult. The ESC came into being after a consultation with over 220 stakeholders identified a need for a body that is independent, capable of convening across the sector and building alignment, that provides the innovation support tools that are missing today, supports the scale-up of new technologies and business models and, most critically, a body that is able to look at the system as a whole.
Our early development has been shaped by the decisions to have the Catapult deliver two significant, demanding and complimentary programmes: Smart Systems and Heat – where the Energy Technologies Institute and its members have been both client and collaborator in the initial phase – and Future Power System Architecture, in partnership with the Institution of Engineering and Technology. These programmes address some of the most intractable questions we face in the transformation of our energy system and we are building a wide range of capabilities through delivering them.
Innovators are critical in meeting the changing demands of end users, who are the best judges of any system. We have started to reach out – through our Energy Innovation Centre partnership, regional engagement and through closer relationships with BEAMA and others. We have connected with over 300 SMEs so far, and are developing the Energy Knowledge Exchange to open up access to knowledge and data across the energy sector.
Our new Cannon House home, opened in October 2016, embodies the values of the Catapult: innovation, openness, connectivity, collaboration, inclusion, sustainability, wellbeing, value for money – and it was ‘Made in Britain’. We welcome the energy industry and local region to use the innovation centre, a living laboratory space, to share ideas and work on the energy transformation in collaboration with us and each other.
As a team, we are encouraged by our first steps, recognise the task we face, and are energised by the road ahead to unleash the energy opportunity.
Philip New, CEO